Haj 2023: UAE announces registration dates for pilgrims

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments said potential pilgrims have to register on its digital platforms

by

Sahim Salim

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 12:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 4:08 PM

Authorities in the UAE have announced the registration dates for those wishing to perform Haj this year. Those wanting to perform the Islamic pilgrimage can register from February 13 to March 10.

The UAE’s General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) said potential pilgrims have to register on its digital platforms. Those intending to undertake the holy journey are required to click on the ‘Haj registration’ tab. They have to then enter their Emirates ID and mobile phone numbers.

To ensure that pilgrims from around the world are given the chance to perform Haj, Saudi Arabia specifies quotas for countries. On its website, the UAE Government advises people to book in advance as the quota is limited.

Typically, the UAE Government issues Haj permits for only Emiratis. Expatriates have to go through the quota and procedures of their home countries.

Pilgrims usually opt for all-inclusive Haj packages offered by licensed tour operators. The packages would include visa costs, hotels, transport and food.

Last month, a Saudi minister announced that the kingdom will not impose limits on the number of pilgrims for this year's Haj. This follows three years of Covid-related restrictions at Islam’s holiest sites.

"The number of pilgrims will return to what it was before the pandemic, without any age limit," Minister of Haj and Umrah Tawfiq Al Rabiah had told reporters in Riyadh.

Haj is a pillar of Islam, and all able-bodied Muslims with monetary means are required to perform it at least once. The pilgrimage will happen in June this year.

Over 2.5 million people performed the pilgrimage in 2019, and in the three years after, numbers were significantly reduced as a Covid safety measure. Last year, nearly one million Muslims performed the rituals. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, was among the pilgrims in 2022. He had praised Saudi Arabia for successfully organising the pilgrimage.

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